DO I REALLY NEED A BRAND FOR MY SMALL BUSINESS? (PLUS, A FREE BRANDING SELF-AUDIT)
For people to buy from you, they have to trust you. And to trust you, they have to know you and recognize you. The tool we use to accomplish this is called branding. For more on what branding is, click here.
What's the worst thing that could happen in your business? Say you put all this work into starting your business and monetizing your work to ...suddenly hear crickets.
It sucks. Ask me how I know.
It wasn't until I established visuals that matched my voice and purpose that people started to notice that I was serious about what I am doing here.
We have 9 seconds to get someone's attention on the web today, guys. NINE SECONDS.
This is why clear, concise, cohesive branding is so important to our small businesses. Don't tell me you can't spot a Nate Berkus stapler from a mile away and immediately tie him to Target. We keep brands and the way we feel around them in our hearts and heads.
Our brains love association and feeling like we're a part of a larger idea. This is why we all wore those torn jeans from Hollister in high school because we felt a part of a brand.
And this feeling of belonging is exactly what is going to get your customers to a place where they feel comfortable buying from you.
Whether you're selling digital products or handmade goods or coaching services, people are going to choose you because they know you and trust you, not because you have a flashy brand.
WHAT? Did the branding designer over here just say that?
Yes. Yes, I did. Because your brand isn't about colors and photos and perfectly lit selfies. Your brand is about accurately translating your voice into a visual that attracts the right person, on the right platform, in the right place in their life to need you.
You have to know your people inside and out and they have to know you as well.
And if you have 9 seconds to get them to a place where they trust you enough to follow you, you have to put even more effort into capturing them with intriguing, effective visuals so they'll eventually trust you with their money.
So, yes, you need a brand for your business. But you need an effective one. One that gets clients for you, one that pulls customers in with the story it tells, one that books you out solid.
Maybe you feel like your brand is non-existent, but it's not. It's there and it's sending a message to your clients and customers, whether you want it to or not.
Now, this is for free. I want you to evaluate your brand using the steps below.
Steps to a Branding Self-Audit Exercise
1. Put yourself in your ideal customer's shoes.
2. Try to look at your brand like it's the first time.
3. Write down the top 10 words that come to mind.
4. Put yourself back into your own shoes.
5. Do the words you wrote match what you're trying to say?
BONUS | Ask a friend/past customer (preferably in your ideal market) to repeat the steps & give your her/his 10 words. Are they the same? Or is she/he picking up something totally different than you intend?